A black woman was shot and killed in her home on March 13 when Louisville, Kentucky, police officers unexpectedly stormed her apartment, alarming the victim and her boyfriend, who thought they were being robbed, NBC News reports. The family of EMT worker Breonna Taylor filed a lawsuit accusing officers of conducting a “botched” search warrant and “blindly firing” over 20 shots into the apartment. Taylor’s boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, fired back in self-defense, according to the lawsuit.
The lawsuit states that Taylor and her boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, were asleep in their bedroom when police in plainclothes and unmarked vehicles arrived at the house looking for a suspect who lived in a different part of the city and was already in police custody.
The three officers entered Taylor’s home “without knocking and without announcing themselves as police officers,” the suit states.
Officers shot Taylor, 26, eight times, according to NBC. Walker, 27, “was arrested and charged with assault and attempted murder on a police officer.”
Lt. Ted Eidem of the Louisville Metro Police Department held a press conference following the incident and said police acted appropriately. He insisted officers knocked several times and “announced their presence as police who were there with a search warrant.” After forcing their way in, they “were immediately met by gunfire,” NBC reports.
Taylor’s family is represented by attorney Ben Crump, who also reps the family of Ahmaud Arbery, an unarmed Black man who was shot and killed by two white men on February 23 as he jogged down a residential street in Georgia. Crump called for justice for Taylor in a statement posted to his Twitter account. “We stand with the family of this young woman in demanding answers from the Louisville Police Department,” he said. Crump also called out police officers for failing to provide “any answers regarding the facts and circumstances of how this tragedy occurred.”
#BreonnaTaylor should be alive right now. Yet here we are, the loss of another innocent, young Black woman. Another beautiful life lost! Louisville Police, your officers need to be held accountable. #JusticeForBreonnaTaylor #JusticeForBre #SayHerName pic.twitter.com/IX7iyeRXbK— Benjamin Crump, Esq. (@AttorneyCrump) May 13, 2020
According to NBC:
The lawsuit says Taylor and Walker woke up and thought criminals were breaking in. Walker called 911 and police said he opened fire and shot an officer.
“The defendants then proceeded to spray gunfire into the residence with a total disregard for the value of human life,” the lawsuit alleges. “Shots were blindly fired by the officers all throughout Breonna’s home.”
The suit states that Walker had a license to carry and kept firearms in the home, and that Taylor was unarmed.
Taylor and Walker had no criminal history or drug convictions. No drugs were found in the apartment.
Taylor’s mother, Tamika Palmer, filed the wrongful death lawsuit in April in Jefferson Circuit Court, reports NBC.
The officers responsible for Taylor’s death, identified as Jonathan Mattingly, Brett Hankison and Myles Cosgrove, according to NBC, have been reassigned pending the outcome of the ongoing investigation.